November 29, 2014

Two felons charged with election fraud

Two more people have been charged in an ongoing investigation of suspected election fraud.

An agent in the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has been pouring over lists of people suspected of committing voter fraud in Iowa and found two people who had been convicted of a felony had registered to vote. Thirty-seven-year-old Jason Anthony Rawlin of Indianola and Stacy Rae Brown of Kanawha, who is also 37, have both been charged with election fraud, which is a felony, and with misdemeanor fraud.

Convicted felons who’ve been released from prison and completed their parole are not eligible to vote. They must pay all their fines and restitution, then they can apply to the governor to have their voting rights restored.

Last month three people in the Council Bluffs area were arrested and charged with election fraud. Two were Canadian citizens who voted in Iowa. The other was a Mexican citizen. 

Earlier this year Iowa’s Secretary of State checked driver’s license records from the Iowa D-O-T and came up with a list of almost 3400 people who had registered to vote, but may not have been legal voters. Secretary of State Matt Schultz had hoped to check that list against a federal database, to determine which names on the list are people who have become U.S. citizens after they got their driver’s license.

But his effort is hung up in court, as critics sued to stop what they allege is an effort to “purge” some voters from the rolls and discourage Spanish-speaking Iowa citizens from voting.

Schultz issued a statement late today, saying “Iowans deserve fair and honest elections” and that “every person who cheats in our election process deprives a hard-working, eligible citizen of their voice in our government.”